Children’s Services

Guidelines for Managing Information Related to the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity and Expression of Children in Child Welfare Systems

The publications contains information and resources for child welfare professionals to better serve LGBT children and youth in foster care. Includes how best to collect, record, and disclose information on the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of children and youth in foster care. Developed in partnership with Legal Services for Children, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, these guidelines will help agencies identify, track, and assess the needs and outcomes of LGBT children and youth.

Foster Care Select Committee Hearing:  Opening Testimony by Trish Ploehn

Trish Ploehn, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services, addressed the Foster Care Select Committee chaired by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass on August 8, 2008.

Testimony on Proposed Child Welfare Cuts

Assembly Budget Subcommittee Testimony

Catherine Huerta, Director, Fresno County Department of Children and Family Services, addressed Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 chaired by Assemblywoman Patty Berg on April 30, 2008.

Senate Budget Subcommittee Testimony

Ingrid Harita, Director, Orange County Social Services Agency, addressed Senate Budget Subcommittee  No. 3 chaired by Senator Elaine Alquist on April 21, 2008.

Funding Child Welfare Services In California:  Presentation by Frank Mecca to the California Child Welfare Council

CWDA Executive Director and Council Member Frank Mecca provided a presentation to the council on the financing of child welfare services including history, funding makeup and current issues. (April 2008)

Eleven County Pilot Project Evaluation Report

Evaluation of the Eleven-County Pilot Project in California to implement Differential Response, a standardized safety assessment and strategies for helping youth achieve permanency and successfully transition to adulthood. (Feb 2008)

State of Child Welfare and Foster Care in 2008

Prepared by the California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership

Recruiting and Retaining Foster Parents

Two New Reports Sound Alarm on Foster Home Crisis:  Shortage of Foster Homes Blamed on Lack of Rate Increase in Six Years – prepared by Childrens Advocacy Institute, CWDA, and Legal Advocates for Permanent Parenting
Joint press release for press conference held May 22, 2007.

No Family, No Future:  Greater Investment in Family Caregiver Recruitment and Support is Essential to Improvement – A policy brief prepared by CWDA and Legal Advocates for Permanent Parenting
Foster care rates have been frozen for more than six years and families need more support in order to care for foster youth. (May 2007)

They Deserve a Family:  Higher Foster Family Home Rates Could Lead to Better Outcomes, Including More Adoptions prepared by Children’s Advocacy Institute
Even a modest increase in the stipend paid to foster parents would result in fewer children being “bounced around” to multiple foster homes and more children being placed near their siblings. (May 2007)

Preventing Entrance Into Foster Care prepared for the Working Families Policy Summit

Sets forth policy goals and recommendations for supporting at-risk children and families. (Feb 2007)

Child and Family Services Review

This federal review process began in 2002 and is currently in its second round of reviewing all states for performance on a number of measures related to child safety, permanence and well-being. 

2008 Child and Family Services Review

The initial phase of California’s second CFSR review, the Statewide Assessment, was completed in December 2007. The second phase, the on-site reviews, took place in February 2008.


2002 Child and Family Services Review

The federal Children's Bureau evaluates each state's child welfare services program. California's first Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) took place in 2002. This link provides information on the result of California's first review and its resulting Program Improvement Plan.

California’s Program Improvement Plan Media Kit prepared by the California Department of Social Services and CWDA (2002)

Final Report to CDSS and the Stakeholders Work Group:  Child Welfare Budgeting Issues

Prepared for the California Department of Social Services by the Center for Public Policy Research,  University of California, Davis. (Nov 2006)

Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care: Testimony by Dianne Edwards

Dianne Edwards, Director of the Sonoma County Human Services Department, addressed the Foster Care Select Committee chaired by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass at its November 2005 held in Los Angeles. (Nov 2005)

Child Welfare System Improvements

Child Welfare System Improvements CWS Improvements in California 2003-2005: Early Implementation of Key Reforms
This policy brief by the by California Department of Social Services, CWDA, and the Foundation Consortium provides information on the broad, collaborative work that is underway to improve the state’s child welfare system. (Dec 2005)

Strengthening California Counties Through Differential Response Policy Brief
This policy brief discussed how connecting families with community services can serve to strengthen and stabilize their relationships, reduce re-referrals and head off instances of child abuse and neglect. (Summer 2005)

Differential Response in California – Overview
Differential Response is one of three key statewide efforts underway to improve California’s child welfare system. This document provides a basic overview of the Differential Response principles and three service paths that families might take. (July 2005)

Government Agency Coordination for Children and Youth
Explains how improved coordination and collaboration among government agencies and departments that promote the well being of vulnerable children, youth and families should be a top priority for California. (July 2005)

What Works Policy Brief: The Child Welfare System Improvement and Accountability Act (AB 636): Improving Results for Children and Youth in California
This policy brief by Barbara Needell of the Child Welfare Research Center and Ken Patterson. Director, Stanislaus County Community Services Agency, explains California’s innovative child welfare outcomes and accountability system. (Summer 2004)

The Child Welfare Research Center is located at UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare. We provide groundbreaking research on a variety of child welfare issues including adoption, case management, foster care, and welfare reform.

Statewide Priorities: Child Welfare Improvements
Summarizes key statewide improvements that are underway. (Aug 2004)

Background Information:  Improving California’s Child Welfare System
Provides a short summary of key child welfare improvement efforts in California. (Aug 2004)

Frequently Asked Questions
Answers commonly asked questions relative to child welfare improvements. (Aug 2004)

Facts at a Glance
Provides current facts about California’s child welfare system. (Aug 2004)

Chronology of Child Welfare Services
Provides an overview of significant developments in the evolution of child welfare in California. (Aug 2004)

What Outcomes Mean for Child and Families
Explains “outcomes” and what they mean in terms of meaningful improvements in the lives of children and families. (Aug 2004)

Accountability in Action
Illustrates the vision, goals, categorical outcomes and data indicators of California’s child welfare improvements in an easy-to-understand graphic. (Aug 2004)

Can California Keep its Promise to its Children?

A public policy issue paper examining the current workload and budget crisis the Child Welfare Services Program, including a detailed history of Child Welfare Services program requirements and funding. (April 2000)

In response to this CWDA publication, SB 2030 was passed and California completed an evaluation of the Child Welfare Services workload and budgeting methodologies.

SB 2030 CWS Workload Study Final Report (April 2000)

Protecting Children, Restoring Families: It Takes Time

An overview of Child Welfare Services from the vantage point of the social workers dedicated to serving the program's children and families. (1998)

Additional Information

Child Welfare Outcome Measures
University of California-Berkeley